Summary: Who are you living to please? Yourself ot God? What are you ivesting your time and money in? Your answer determines who you are living to please.
Living to please
This morning we are going to talk a minute about living.
About living to please God, and living to please self.
And if we are to really understand what the Bible says about living, living to please God will produce a life of happiness in you.
1 Thess. 4:1-4:12
The purpose of Paul’s writing to the church of Thessalonica was he had to leave quickly (Acts 17) because of persecution.
He writes the letter to encourage new believers and give instruction for godly living.
to give assurance of the future of believers who die before Jesus returns.
The church is thriving despite persecution. Sometimes I think churches in America have it to easy. It is why we don’t take serious God’s commandments and Gods commission to speak to others and most live for self.
He begins this chapter telling God’s people how to live in order to please God.
(3)” It is God’s will that you should be sanctified”- As Nazarenes, we hold to that truth.
Sanctification is to be cut or separate, to be set apart.
Consecrated to God.
Sanctification is the next best thing after being saved- saved by grace! Sanctified by the Holy Spirit working in our lives to allow us to live a holy and pleasing life to God.
2 things come to mind in definition of sanctification.
Separation from evil
Drawing close to God
You must do both to accomplish what the Lord wants for your life. “It is God’s will”
One way that God tells us how we can live is to “walk” with God.
Metaphor used as the Christian way to live. It points us to steady progress.
It tells us that by walking with God we will develop the mind of Christ.
I love baseball. The highlight of my high school career happened when I hit a home run in the district playoffs. My brother was on second base, and I mean I blasted one out of the park in left center field. Did I tell you how hard I hit it. The point I am trying to make is that if you are going to be a good hitter in baseball- you have to be ready for the fastball, but anticipating and being able to hit the curve ball. It is the same in life, be ready for the fast paced, everything in your face situations that keep us always on our toes, but you also have to be ready for those unexpected thing s that you were not ready for.
(2) instructions are given to be able to live that life God desires for us.
First instruction- Be Sanctified! Walk with God!
Did you know that holiness and Phariasm are not the same thing?
Holiness is purity of heart and comes from allowing God to make changes in your life.
Pharism is outward system of law. A set of rules. It is always ready to measure, criticize, condemn, judge and punish.
Holiness flows out of a heart of love and is ready to forgive.
The Bible tells us that we should be set apart and different.
When someone looks at your life (and they will- they are) there should be a difference from those that have not yet accepted Christ.
What did the Lord tell the church in Thessalonica that they should do:
1) Avoid sexual immorality
2) Control your body
3) Do no wrong to your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Because even though they were in the church, they were not immune to temptations.
He speaks to past life and old habits that are hard to get rid of-
(anybody know what I am talking about?)
“Jesus, who knew no sin, grew in manner similar to the growth of other men.”
Jesus our role model who knew no sin- continued to grow.
“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Believers must study, pray, witness, and grow!
Improve their effectiveness as a Christian.
You have heard me say before- “get out of the box, Go to the deep end,” well, that is what the Lord is telling us in this passage.
You come to Christ- great! God desires not only to save your soul, but empower you to live a life that goes to a much deeper level and if you are ever going to make that happen, you will need the Holy Spirit to be working in your life.
Peter walking on the water was a great experience.
When he lost his focus of the Lord, he sank and the Lord was there to pick him up and get him refocused.
So, I am not just telling you to go to the deep end of the lake and jump out. I am telling you that if the Lord is directing your life, that when you slip and sink, He will pick you up and get you refocused again.